Paraffin processing using agar

From:Sue Reilly

Hi All;
We regularly use agar to oreintate tiny specimens that cannot be seen
properly when embedding in paraffin.
I have found this a very sucessful technique for the numerous tiny
specimens, that research students require histological sections of.
The specimens are fixed. Agar is melted and the moulds used for TEM filled.
Using a stereo microscope the tissue can be placed in the agar and
oreintated. The plug of agar complete with specimen is cooled and placed in
the cassette and left in a solution of 70% ethanol for 12 hours. This is
then processed routinely and embedded in paraplast.
Suddenly, I have a batch where the agar has shrivelled up and is extremely
brittle and will not cut. I cannot find a reason for this but more
importantly I am looking for a way to rescue these valuable samples.
I would be very greatful of any suggestions.
Regards
Sue


Sue Reilly (Mrs)  
Histotechnologist
School of Marine Biology and Aqua Culture
and School of Tropical Biology
James Cook University.
Townsville. Qld. 4811.
Telephone: 07-47814181
Facsimile: 07-47251570





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